Page 1 of 9 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 90

Thread: “Stupid Watergate” Is Worse Than the Original

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Fly-over country
    Posts
    6,554

    Default “Stupid Watergate” Is Worse Than the Original


    By David Remnick
    October 4, 2019


    • Comparatively speaking, Richard Nixon has been getting a lot of glowing press these days. As if to propose the never-before-in-history uniqueness of our current moment, we rush to remind ourselves of the lovelier sides of Tricky Dick: his constructive cunning in foreign affairs, particularly the opening to China; his sporadic moments of progressivism, including the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency; and, finally, his scowling acknowledgement of the inevitable in August, 1974, when he received the leaders of the Republican Party and accepted their counsel that support for him had vanished in the Senate and the public at large. John Oliver’s way of paying wiseass tribute to the sepia past is to cast our twenty-first-century travails as “Stupid Watergate”—a scandal that is at least as horrific as the bell-bottomed original, but one in which “everyone involved is stupid and bad at everything.”

    • This not only ignores the countless miseries in Nixon’s policy record, from Vietnam to domestic spying, it also vastly underrates the darkness of Watergate itself. “Watergate” is an umbrella term, and yet it had at its center a conspiracy in which Nixon and his confederates plotted to destroy at least one of his strongest-seeming rivals in the 1972 election campaign. Republican operatives set out to destroy Edmund Muskie, of Maine, in order to face a far weaker opponent, George McGovern, of South Dakota. (Nixon, of course, got his wish, and won a forty-nine-state landslide over McGovern.)
    • “Watergate” also stands for the fullness of Nixon’s deceptions, his resentments, and his plots, some abandoned, others fulfilled. To get the full, rancid flavor of Nixon’s conspiratorial frame of mind, it’s necessary to spend many hours with the White House tapes, which were finally forced into the public domain by the Supreme Court. One random morsel, but a typical one: in June, 1971, the New York Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers, an immense classified study of the Vietnam War, its origins and its ugliest truths. The whistle-blower of that era was Daniel Ellsberg, a defense analyst at the rand Corporation who leaked the documents to Neil Sheehan, of the Times. We know from the tapes that Nixon’s reaction to their publication hardly does credit to any notion of Presidential probity or restraint. At a meeting in the Executive Office Building late in the day on July 2, 1971, with his aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, the President suggested the revival of the old House Committee on Un-American Activities. “You know what’s going to charge up an audience,” Nixon said. “Jesus Christ, they’ll be hanging from the rafters. Going after all these Jews. Just find one that is a Jew, will you.”

    • That same summer, in a similarly paranoid spirit, Nixon suspected that someone at the Brookings Institution was in possession of documents describing how he may have illegally interfered in peace talks with the North Vietnamese before he ascended to the White House. Nixon told Haldeman and Henry Kissinger, his national-security adviser, “Goddammit, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it.” The following day, he returned to the theme: “Get it done! I want it done! I want the Brookings safe cleaned out!” G. Gordon Liddy, a particularly aggressive operative in the Watergate drama, even drew up plans to firebomb Brookings. The building still stands.

      There are volumes of such moments. And yet Donald Trump brings us to a different level of crazy. The President’s klieg-light brazenness, his utter lack of shame, is on daily, public display. What Nixon muttered in the Oval Office, Trump bellows to reporters on the White House lawn. As Carl Bernstein, who, with Bob Woodward, broke the crucial stories in the Watergate scandal for the Washington Post, told me, “When Nixon talked about his crimes, he talked about them in private. He conspired in private. Trump is out front and center about his crimes, his corruption.” The text messages between and among diplomats that were released on Thursday are merely confirmation that Trump’s diplomats, aides, and operatives were furtively, and anxiously, discussing what their master makes no effort to conceal.

      We know from Bernstein and Woodward’s book “The Final Days,” and subsequent corroborating accounts, that Nixon spent his last weeks in office as an erratic mess, drinking heavily, roaming the White House late at night, talking to the portraits of Presidents past. Bad Shakespeare. Trump does not drink; he is as comfortable in the television lights as Nixon was not. He may be worse than he once was, more unhinged, more furious, more undisciplined, but he is not essentially different.

      “Nixon, even on the tapes when he is talking conspiratorially and criminally, held himself together emotionally until the very end,” Bernstein said. “His emotional collapse came only in the final
      weeks, when he knew how cornered he was. It was only then that he started talking to the pictures on the walls. This loss of control is ongoing with Trump. It’s not about the final days. And his corruption is totally as we see it, out front. He doesn’t try to hide it. He doesn’t try to hide the conflicts of interest or the lying. He is not a secretive conspirator.”

      Donald Trump’s behavior echoes Nixon’s in one sense: he and his confederates appear to have been engaged in an effort to undermine the integrity of a Presidential election. From all the evidence and reporting now available––and there will be more––it is increasingly clear that Trump set out to destroy his potential Democratic rival Joe Biden by getting the leaders of foreign nations to investigate the Biden family: an unmistakable misuse of power. All this while he is engaged in crucial foreign-policy matters ranging from the Russia-Ukraine conflict to a trade war with China.

      Trump’s shamelessness leaves Nixon far behind. There is every indication that Trump cares only about his personal fate, and little about the diplomatic or economic consequences to the country. But can this really be news? How many officials who left Trump’s inner circle have waved their hands to tell us that he is not merely a man of limited intelligence and discipline but a very real danger to the national security of the country? James Mattis. H. R. McMaster. Gary Cohn. John Kelly. Rex Tillerson. History will judge their calculations and actions, but is there any mistaking their judgment of the man they served?


      Where Watergate and “Stupid Watergate” might diverge most radically is in the potential endgame. We soothingly remind ourselves that, after many months of reporting revelations, court decisions, and hearings in the House and the Senate, Nixon bent to reality and left the capital in Marine One. What makes anyone imagine that Trump will do the same before he has exacted maximal damage? And what institution will force his hand? The Republican Party?
      The G.O.P. is radically more conservative now than it was during the Watergate era. When the House Judiciary Committee voted on three articles of impeachment against Nixon, all twenty-one Democrats voted yes on two or more articles, and seven of the seventeen Republicans voted for at least one. At this point in the Trump drama, at least, it is hard to imagine congressional Republicans doing the same.

      https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/stupid-watergate-is-worse-than-the-original




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    9,404

    Default

    It would be nice if one of Y'all could actually point to the USC Trump violated, we could with Nixon and Clinton.

    Kind of like you keep trotting out Whistleblowers when the full transcript is out there for people to read.

    Your BS isn't working anymore.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Fly-over country
    Posts
    6,554

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PatDaly View Post
    It would be nice if one of Y'all could actually point to the USC Trump violated, we could with Nixon and Clinton.

    Kind of like you keep trotting out Whistleblowers when the full transcript is out there for people to read.

    Your BS isn't working anymore.
    I'm so sorry to have taken so long getting back to you. I've been on something of a 'news fast' for the last few weeks. Today is busy day so it may take me a few days to get back with some of the other lists. In response to your request, here's one such list as you requested:

    IN THE FACE of an overwhelming pile of evidence suggesting that President Donald Trump pressured a foreign country to damage a political rival, most Republicans have chosen either to remain silent or to deny outright that anything out of the ordinary occurred. Others have taken a more sophisticated route: Concede his wrongdoing, but argue that it’s not impeachable.

    “Donald Trump should not have been on the phone with a foreign head of state encouraging another country to investigate his political opponent, Joe Biden. Some Republicans are trying, but there’s no way to spin this as a good idea,” wrote Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel recently in The Daily Caller. But, they add importantly, that doesn’t mean his error rises to the level of an impeachable offense.

    They are, however, indictable. A variety of felony criminal statutes plainly implicate Trump’s behavior, and come with lengthy prison sentences — the types of sentences doled out for high crimes, to say nothing of misdemeanors. Indeed, many of them are straightforward. Altogether, if the impeachment inquiry is limited simply to Trump’s pressure on Ukraine, the charges could amount to more than 10 years in prison.

    Take 18 U.S. Code § 872: “Extortion by officers or employees of the United States.” It’s not hard to grasp:
    “Whoever, being an officer, or employee of the United States or any department or agency thereof, or representing himself to be or assuming to act as such, under color or pretense of office or employment commits or attempts an act of extortion, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”

    The only question, here, is the definition of extortion. The law describes it as “the extraction of anything of value from another person by threatening or placing that person in fear of injury to any person or kidnapping of any person.” Was the Ukrainian president, or any other person, put in “fear of injury” by Trump’s move? As Trump’s envoys made clear in their since-disclosed text messages, Ukraine’s cooperation in the investigation of Joe and Hunter Biden was driven by the promise of a White House visit for President Volodymyr Zelensky and the threat of withholding military aid. That’s not just wrong, as Carlson and Patel rightly acknowledge, it’s also a felony, as the president and other Ukrainians no doubt had “fear of injury.”

    Attorney General William Barr’s Department of Justice has declined to press charges against Trump, though the House of Representatives is pushing forward with its impeachment inquiry. In the meantime, Trump has said that he will refuse to cooperate with lawful subpoenas — itself a prima facie violation of 2 U.S. Code § 192, “Refusal of witness to testify or produce papers,” punishable by a year in prison.
    Coercing his deputies into joining in the conspiracy would also runs afoul of the law.“As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” Bill Taylor, the top American diplomat in Ukraine, reiterated in a text message to Trump official Gordon Sondland, strongly suggesting he was pursuing the strategy against his own wishes.

    If Taylor felt coerced into helping with “a political campaign,” that implicates 18 U.S. Code § 610, which covers that crime rather clearly under the title: “Coercion of political activity.”
    The law reads: “It shall be unlawful for any person to intimidate, threaten, command, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, command, or coerce, any employee of the Federal Government … to engage in … any political activity.” The sentence caps at three years.

    It’s also illegal, according to 18 U.S. Code § 595, when a government official, “in connection with any activity which is financed in whole or in part by loans or grants made by the United States, or any department or agency thereof, uses his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or the election of any candidate for the office of President.” That statute could add another year to the sentence.

    Prosecutors, in trying to pressure defendants into a plea bargain, often engage in what’s known as “stacking,” where they find every conceivable charge and stack them to the ceiling, threatening decades in prison if the defendant contests all the charges. A prosecutor who wanted to stack charges against Trump could ding him for 18 U.S. Code § 607, “Place of solicitation,” and 52 U.S. Code § 30121, “Contributions and donations by foreign nationals.” Essentially, it’s illegal to solicit contributions to your presidential campaign from the Oval Office and illegal to solicit from foreign nationals no matter where you do it from: “It shall be unlawful for an individual who is an officer or employee of the Federal Government, including the President … to solicit or receive a donation of money or other thing of value in connection with a Federal, State, or local election, while in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties by an officer or employee of the United States, from any person.”

    That’s another three years.

    https://theintercept.com/2019/10/10/trump-crimes-law/



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    964

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Green Man View Post
    I'm so sorry to have taken so long getting back to you. I've been on something of a 'news fast' for the last few weeks. Today is busy day so it may take me a few days to get back with some of the other lists. In response to your request, here's one such list as you requested:

    IN THE FACE of an overwhelming pile of evidence suggesting that President Donald Trump pressured a foreign country to damage a political rival, most Republicans have chosen either to remain silent or to deny outright that anything out of the ordinary occurred. Others have taken a more sophisticated route: Concede his wrongdoing, but argue .................................................. ..........................................

    LOL, laughing that you actually took the time to cut and paste this drivel.
    ​HAVE A PLAN TO KILL EVERYONE YOU MEET

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Fly-over country
    Posts
    6,554

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AWM View Post
    LOL, laughing that you actually took the time to cut and paste this drivel.
    No problem!

    You haven't read my previous post all the way through, have you?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    3,791

    Default

    In the FACE of a video showing Joe Biden bragging about a quid-pro-quo pressuring a foreign country to fire an official in that country or no money would be given to that country...

    But, alas, Greenman will never accede to that fact.



    Earl
    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    Withdraw consent!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Fly-over country
    Posts
    6,554

    Default

    So Biden should have just gone along with the Ukranian prosecutor and easy on his son's Ukranian company?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    5,846

    Default

    Green M is such a fool tool. Must be paid by the post, content withstanding. How many times do the arguments he presents need to be rebutted? Everyone of them have been. Yet he ignores the Biden family's ties, and Kerry's, and Pelosi's and even Romney's......hope they get them all.
    Educate others to grow our base of informed citizens, it's tyranny. Spread the Gospel.

    Prepare wisely individually. An army runs on it's stomach.

    Network with those who prepare wisely and take advantage of the strength in numbers and the economy of scale.

    Then, when the curtains come down and the truth is evident to an informed citizenry, we unite and fight the new world order.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    5,130

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Green Man View Post
    So Biden should have just gone along with the Ukranian prosecutor and easy on his son's Ukranian company?

    Yes, he was investigation "CORRUPTION" and the idiots the MSM keeps pulling out claiming to be the fired prosecutor, is "NOT THE ONE BIDEN GOT FIRED!"

    And the current investigator is now re-opening all investigations involving the 2 previous Ukrainian presidents.

    Who is the corrupt one, the one driving a Pinto or the ones driving Bentleys?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    9,404

    Default

    Green Man, please do bring articles of Impeachment against Trump on the claptrap you claim to understand.

    Trump will be overheard saying in the oval office, channeling LBJ " There won't be a Democrat elected for generations".

    You really ARE that stupid.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •